Miracle: L.A. Times finally admits Obama sees fracking as safe

June 23, 2013

By Chris Reed

fracking.equipPresident Obama’s first energy secretary, interior secretary and EPA chief all at various times in his first term depicted hydraulic fracking — aka fracking — as safe. His Energy Department put out a report in 2011 describing the newly improved energy exploration process as just another dirty heavy industry that isn’t much of an environmental concern if it is well-regulated. The president himself even campaigned on the boom in U.S. natural gas production created by tracking.

But repeated Nexis hunts have shown that this fact inexplicably has never been reported in The Los Angeles Times. Last month, the paper’s intent to deceive Californians on this topic was made crystal-clear when it covered a speech by new Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on fracking rules for public and Indian lands. In the speech, as The New York Times reported, Jewell offered a ringing endorsement of fracking’s long and safe history. But the L.A. Times left this out, instead citing a petroleum industry spokesman as making the case for fracking’s long and safe history. I wonder how LAT reporters Neela Banerjee and Wes Venteicher sleep at night.

It was on the op-ed page — but at least it was finally in the LAT

On Friday, however, Jewell was finally quoted and the Obama administration’s position was finally acknowledged by the Times. It may have been in an op-ed by Rock Zierman of the California Independent Petroleum Association, not in an editorial or a front-page analysis, but it was there in black and white and can no longer be denied.

“The ‘safe fracking’ question has been asked and answered many times over by government regulators, scientists and other technical experts, and they have concluded that hydraulic fracturing is a fundamentally safe technology. Interior secretaries and EPA heads have repeatedly said that fracking can be done, and is being done, so that it doesn’t present environmental or public health problems.

“That’s been the case for decades, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, a former petroleum engineer and a former president of REI, the outdoor equipment retailer, said in May. Jewell’s predecessor, Ken Salazar, testified to Congress that hydraulic fracturing ‘has been done safely hundreds of thousands of times’ and warned lawmakers against anti-fracking ‘hysteria.'”

If Obama views were known, polls would change

The LAT web page with the op-ed, alas, has a link to a poll showing Californians are deeply worried about fracking — thanks to the deceit of enviro reporters like Banerjee and Venteicher.

But if the views of the Obama administration were actually regularly acknowledged, we wouldn’t just have polls that are much more favorable to fracking. We’d have a completely different public debate, one in which the default view is that fracking’s critics are, as former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar suggests, “hysterics.”



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